Barito is an 890 km long river, located in South Kalimantan, Indonesia. It originates in the Muller Mountain Range from where it flows southward into the Java Sea. Its main affluent is the Martapura River and it passes through the city of Banjarmasin.

The Barito River cascade down from the Meratus Mountain highlands, and is a crucial river highway channel between the coast and the deep interior of South Kalimantan. The Barito river attract tourists who wants to travel into the Meratus jungle regions, and visit the traditional living Banjarese tribes. The delta area has characteristic wide swamps and lowlands. During high tide, the sea water floods the area, and the Barito river water becomes salty. In the dry season, when the river water decrease, the wells and ponds are filled with sea water, and also become salty. The Barito river environment, however, gives an appeal that is all its own. Rivers are since the Dutch Kolonial period busiest trading centers as Pasar Baru, Kuripan Market and some modern markets such as the Antasari Shopping Center. The Floating Market of Banjarmasin is a traditional market at the estuary of the Kuin river, a tributary of the Barito.

As the day proceeds, the atmosphere becomes more cheerful. The number of buyers increase, and more boats gather. At a little past noon, the market quietens down. The now empty boats leave. The number of buyers dwindles, and finally everything is quiet again on the river. The best time to see market in action is in the early morning, between 6 a.m and 7 a.m.

The Barito River is the longest river in South Kalimantan with its length of 600 kilometers, and it’s three kilometers wide give an impression to see. The water of Barito River is muddy as it carries silt and rubbish from the hinterland. Flotsam is everywhere along the lower reaches of the river. Beyond Marabahan village, the Barito river splits into two branches one is a tributary coming from Negara village, Amuntai and Tanjung. The other branch comes from the west, and has its head waters near the Central Kalimantan border.

Upper Barito River, is Barito Selatan district and part of Central Kalimantan (Kalteng) Province, this area covers 8830, Buntok is the capital of the district. The Lowland rain forest is about 377.395 ha, and has swamp forest of 271.550 ha with 44.623 ha lakes. This Upper River is potential for Tourism development, as the forests has a lot of wildlife including wild orangutans, beside the black orchids and carnivorous pitcher plant species. The lakes and side rivers are romantic places with opportunities for bird watching. Buntok can be caught by car from Palangka Raya and Banjarmasin.

The orangutan is probably the magnet for tourism to visit the area, while still almost unknown as it is not exposed and developed yet. Orangutans can be found in the Madara, Sungai Puning, and Pedang area. Near the Orangutans, Puning is famous of it’s Black water eco-system as the only one at Borneo Island, the Sanggu forest is good for it’s flora with species of wild orchids, and pitcher plants, last but not least the area has also limestone caves and waterfalls.


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